The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert: Encore lets you rock ‘til you drop with 44 live performances from the Beastie Boys, Alice Cooper, Dr. John, Genesis, Heart, The Hollies, Freddie King, Darlene Love, Randy Newman, Phish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rush, Leon Russell, Small Faces/Faces, The Stooges (with Iggy Pop), and Tom Waits.
The two-disc Blu-ray or four-disc DVD set covers the HOF’s inductions from 2010 to 2013 (the 25th to 28th) including rare collaborative performances, celebrity appearances, special honorary speeches, and much more. The Blu-ray version reviewed here contains 481 minutes of solid material. Home video audiences only get the highlighted and chosen experiences, so it’s always a nice advantage to avoid long waits, sounds issues and high costs, though sometimes there is nothing like a live performance. This Blu-ray set does a great job capturing the moments that honor expert musicianship that satisfies audiences on several levels.
Established in 1983, music’s hallowed Hall of Fame celebrates musicians, producers, technicians, and other notable people. Though it’s located at 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio, the Hall’s past induction ceremonies rotated between its Cleveland home, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Time Life’s previous installment in this quality home video series, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert, covered the HOF ceremonies from 2014 to 2017. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Concert Digital Album Collection is made up of five digital releases that respectively cover the ceremonies of 2010-11, 2012-13, 2014, 2015, and 2016-17. The digital releases are available on iTunes, Amazon, and all other leading digital retailers.
Freddie King is a notable addition to this set as an inductee from the early influences category. Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill from ZZ Top give King a great speech and then perform “Hide Away” and “Going Down” with blues rocker Joe Bonamassa and Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks.
Others recognized in the non-performer category (a.k.a. Ahmet Ertegün Award for Lifetime Achievement) include Quincy Jones’ induction at the 28th induction ceremony in 2013, who gets an induction speech from Oprah Winfrey.
This set also features Leon Russell for the Award for Musical Excellence, which replaces sidemen. After Russell’s induction speech by Elton John, the 26th ceremony in 2011 ends with a huge performance set beginning with Tom Waits (“Make It Rain,” “Rain Dogs,” and “House Where Nobody Lives”). This is followed by inductee Dr. John with former Late Night with David Letterman show band leader Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra for “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such a Night.” Russell joins John Mayer and Shaffer and the same orchestra for “Delta Lady” and “A Song for You” and then bows out to let his fellow inductee Love join Shaffer and the orchestra for “Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah,” “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” and “He’s a Rebel.”
Notable omissions in the non-performers induction included David Geffen at the 25th ceremony in New York.
Now the regular inductees represent a well varied mix and include The Hollies, who had founding members Graham Nash and Allan Clarke perform “Bus Stop,” “Carrie-Anne,” and “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)” with Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra. The now double-inductee Nash was previously inducted in 1997 for his work in Crosby, Stills & Nash. Adam Levine (Maroon 5) also joined them on the first songs. Then came a surprise appearance from Hollies member Terry Sylvester on “Long,” but original members Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott were absent (actually playing at the same time in Europe carrying on the band’s name with new members).
Also, at the 25th annual ceremony in 2010 were The Stooges, who blasted the stage with two songs, “Search and Destroy” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” which included Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day. Armstrong also did The Stooges’ induction speech. The Stooges got a great assist from Scott Thurston, as they had recently lost their founding guitarist Ron Asheton to a heart attack. Green Day was also included in this set for their stand-alone opening performance of “Letterbomb” at the 27th ceremony.
Legendary Canadian power trio Rush perform “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit of Radio” after Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins (of Foo Fighters) joined them for the opening “2112: Overture” in this powerful set.
Collaborations were plentiful, with members of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam joining a reunited Heart lineup (30 years in the making) for “Crazy on You.” Alice Cooper had Rob Zombie join him to close out his set with “School’s Out.” Zombie also gave Cooper’s induction speech. These are just some of the memorable performance highlights in this invigorating home video set.
A Guns N’ Roses reunion was nixed due to an absent Axl Rose, but GNR band members took the stage at the 27th ceremony in Cleveland’s Public Hall for the finale of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” It was led by the inductees Red Hot Chili Peppers (without guitarist John Frusciante) plus Kenney Jones, Armstrong, and Ronnie Wood, with a special addition by George Clinton. It’s one of the best HOF induction performances ever.
Public Enemy’s performance at the 28th ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” was sorely missed in this set but included Grohl, John Fogerty, Chris Cornell, Rush, and Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson. At least their speech featuring Spike Lee and Harry Belafonte and their acceptance was. No inclusion of Donna Summer’s induction at this ceremony either.
Neil Diamond’s memorable performance of “Sweet Caroline” was also not included here, as Russell’s large set took over the entire second half of the 26th ceremony selections.
Some bittersweet performances included The Beastie Boys at the 27th ceremony. After the induction speech from Chuck D and LL Cool J, Mike Diamond and Adam Horowitz read a touching note from bandmate Adam Yauch, who was unable to attend while battling a three-year long cancer diagnosis. Then viewers get a powerful medley of “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “So What ‘Cha Want,” and “Sabotage” performed by Black Thought, Travie McCoy, The Roots, and Kid Rock.
This Blu-ray set did not include any material from several inductions of classic bands at the 27th ceremony, including The Crickets, The Miracles, The Midnighters, and The Comets, but at least Donovan’s speech and performance of “Season of the Witch” with John Mellencamp is shown.
The complete Hall of Fame induction speeches include Don Henley inducting Randy Newman, Neil Young inducting Tom Waits, and John Legend inducting Dr. John.
It would have been great to see Genesis perform at the 25th annual ceremony, but they only appeared – without Peter Gabriel, who was rehearsing in England though he appeared for his solo HOF induction soon after in 2014 – after an induction speech by Phish’s Trey Anastasio. Phish honored Genesis by performing their version of “Watcher of the Skies,” which was a strong performance, but their performance of “No Reply at All” was not included in this set.
Double inductee Rod Stewart had the flu in 2012, so he was absent for the Faces induction, which also included another double inductee Ronnie Wood. “Ooh La La” and “Stay With Me” were performed by Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan, and Wood along with supporting performers Mick Hucknall and Conrad Korsch.
The 25th ceremony also had notable no-shows from Jimmy Cliff and ABBA, who were inducted by Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb, as Benny Anderson, Faith Hill, and Shaffer and the HOF Orchestra performed the latter’s “The Winner Takes It All.”
This highly recommended set (3.5 stars out of four) has an excellent DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix, but unfortunately no optional English subtitles or SDH captions. An included booklet provides a physical list of content for viewers. No bonus features are included here.
Photo credits: Time Life